Forgiving Amy is a portrait of a woman named Amy. Amy is troubled and leading a life she perhaps regrets getting into. She lives with a drug addicted boyfriend who is demeaning and abusive and often resorts to muggings to get money for drugs. Amy wants nothing to do with such things but feels trapped. Amy’s brother meets up with her to convince her to talk to their father, who Amy hasn’t spoken to in a long time. Her brother assures her that their father has been sober for a long time and regrets all his misdeeds, but Amy is damaged from their relationship and now must decide which path to take for her future.
Forgiving Amy is a heavy little short film. Clocking in at almost 20 minutes, it is a fascinating character study of a decent person beat down by family and by present circumstances. Writer and director James Mulholland filmed the short entirely in Ireland and the locals benefit from it giving the film an authentic sense of time and place. Aoife King portrays Amy with a deep sadness that shows on her face without saying a word. She is a product of her upbringing and her environment, even though she is a good person that deserves better. The boyfriend, Quigs, played by Mark Butler, is a drug addict and a real son of a bitch. Butler plays his frustratingly well, making the viewer almost instantly despise the character and his treatment of Amy. While the visit from her brother and the gift of a locket that used to belong to her mother gives Amy a brief glimmer of hope for the future, her situation looms large over her and ultimately presents obstacles too great for Amy to overcome.
Mulholland has created a very intimate and very powerful short film in Forgiving Amy and I would love to see what he could do with a feature length film and a healthy budget. He is a very intricate storyteller and we would be lucky to hear more of what he has to say.